MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Fide Master (FM) Haridas Pascua needs to win in the ninth round of the ongoing Indonesia Open Chess tournament in Jakarta in order to earn the first grand master (GM) norm of his career.
Pascua is set to face 11th seed GM Dmitry Bocharov of Russia on Thursday at the Puri Ratna Convention Hall.
Pascua, seeded 57th in the event, halved the point with 13th-seeded GM Merab Gagunashvili of Georgia in the seventh round on Tuesday then beat countryman and fourth-seeded GM Mark Paragua in the eighth round Wednesday.
He now shares the sixth to 18th places with 5.5 points on account of five wins, two loses and a draw in eight outings.
Pascua, who holds an ELO rating of 2350, tallied an impressive rating performance of 2608.
Meanwhile, International Master (IM) Oliver Dimakiling bowed to GM Oleg Korneev of France, dimming his chances of obtaining his third and final GM norm.
Dimakiling remains at 4.5 points, dropping him into a tie for 26th to 48th places along with countrymen GM John Paul Gonzales and GM Eugene Torre.
GMs Richard Bitoon and Oliver Barbosa are still fighting for better places after beating their respective Indonesian foes.
Bitoon crushed IM Lioe Dede, while Barbosa outduelled GM Cerdas Barus. They now move on to a tie for the 19th to 25th places with five points.
Paragua, meanwhile, is in joint 47th to 65th places with four points, while FM Paulo Bersamina is at 77th to 87th places with three points.
Yu Yangyi of China is still on top of the leaderboard with seven points after defeating fellow Chinese GM Lu Shanglei.
The Filipinos’ campaign in the Indonesia chess tournament is supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines. -- By Marlon Bernardino